Originally constructed in 1885, with three additional floors added in 1906, the Flynn Building was renamed to the Edna Griffin Building in 1998 to honor the successful efforts to desegregate the former Katz Drug Store.
On July 9, 1948, Mrs. Griffin and her party were refused service due to their race at the Katz lunch counter. Griffin led pickets and sit-ins, and other actions to bring attention to discrimination and civil rights violations of the 1884 Iowa Civil Rights Act. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 1949.
Today, extensive interior renovations of the Edna Griffin Building involve 1st floor retail, 2nd floor office space and approximately 35 apartments on floors 3-6. The projects exterior include repairs to the historic brick masonry facade, and replacement of the remaining non-historic windows.
The Edna Griffin building is scheduled to open early 2020